Passages is an over-arching program, incorporating several distinct courses that provide seniors with an opportunity to explore an area of interest outside the confines of the traditional educational program. Passage students participate in one of several meaningful, non-traditional experiences, in many cases beyond Barlow's walls, that provide real-world application. Students work in the community or on campus during the second semester of their senior year, receiving one academic credit to explore a field of interest prior to specializing or beginning their post-secondary plans.

The common components of all the various options are the element of choice and the depth of the exploration. Students build a bridge between the accumulated 21st century skills and knowledge learned in the classroom and the world beyond Joel Barlow High School. They complete high level work in a discipline or area about which they are passionate. They synthesize and present their work in both a written and public format.

In addition to Passages: A Capstone Experience, several other courses and opportunities fall comfortably under the umbrella of Passages. All of them meet the requirements of a Capstone project, in accordance with the State of Connecticut Secondary School Reform plan.

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